Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Project 365 - April 23-29

Tuesday, April 23 - Plugged in my new external harddrive and began the very long process of backing up the computer.
Wednesday, April 24 - My last day as a stay-at-home-artist, I worked on my Arabian stallion drawing. I am now working a second 20-hour a week job in addition to my 15-hour a week job, so my time of working on my art every day has come to an end.
Thursday, April 25 - After the first day at my new job and the varying stresses that brings, it was nice to  watch the antics of my dog. Here she is trying to get me to rub her belly.
Friday, April 26 - Our t-shirts for summer reading program came in - I love the design!
Saturday, April 27 - End of April, and I'm very happy to FINALLY be able to wear sandals!
Sunday, April 28 - With the weather finally warming up and all that snow melting, everything is a bit muddy, and I got in a little deep as evidenced by my work boots.
Monday, April 29 - The new (to us) tractor and planter that are being prepped for planting. Going to get busy around here!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Project 365 - April 16-22

Tuesday, April 16 - Taking photos for Etsy listings for ready-to-frame prints.
Wednesday, April 17 - This was kind of crazy - I played five letters in Words with Friends, and this was the way the new letters came up - I did not rearrange them at all!
Thursday, April 18 - Snowing again! Will it ever stop?
Friday, April 19 - Doing some applique on a colorful quilt I've been working on for a long time.
Saturday, April 20 - Got an area set up for redoing some old Etsy photos.
Sunday, April 21 - Our dog's newest trick - we taught her to "give me 5". It's so cute!
Monday, April 22 - New game we got in a silent auction at a fundraiser - can't wait to try it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - April 21

Almost seven hours of work so far on the Arabian stallion, and I think I'm starting to see the end in sight. I still have some work to do on his muzzle, blaze, and forelock as well as the general all-over ending touch-ups.

My current Art Instruction Schools assignment is to drape a piece of fabric over an object and draw it. I have a swatch of shiny satin fabric draped over a trophy. The satin is quite wrinkly, so there's a lot going on, and it's going to take a while. Here's what it looks like with about half an hour of work on it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Project 365 - April 9-15

Tuesday, April 9 - After a week of spring-like weather, we got a multi-day winter storm.
Wednesday, April 10 - The robins came too early and sat huddled in the trees throughout the storm.
Thursday, April 11 - I'm estimating 8-10 inches of snow we got. I had a better shot snowing the snowfall, but this photo of my snow-covered garden bench was much prettier.
Friday, April 12 - Extra stuff loaded up for a rummage sale (indoors!).
Saturday, April 13 - Our only Black Hereford bull calf this year. We had four heifers, and the other bull is red.
Sunday, April 14 - This morning we had an ice coating on everything.
Monday, April 15 - Doing some piano playing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project 365 - April 2-8

Tuesday, April 2 - My husband playing Mahjong Dimensions, a new game we've discovered and become completely addicted to.
Wednesday, April 3 - My husband took his new gun out shooting for the first time.
Thursday, April 4 - A beautiful sunset on the way home from a summer reading program kickoff and teen summit.
Friday, April 5 - My husband's niece had a leading role in a high school musical. I'm not a musical or rag music fan, but the kids put in a lot of work.
Saturday, April 6 - First blades of green grass!
Sunday, April 7 - My husband fell asleep on the couch watching The Hunger Games on Netflix.
Monday, April 8 - The records I'm keeping as the calves arrive.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - April 7

Art Instruction Schools - Fabric, Folds, and the Figure lesson - drew a glove and am currently working on a bunched up striped shirt.

The Arabian stallion is coming along slowly. I'm taking my time to make sure it comes out right. At this point, he's got 5.5 hours of drawing time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Project 365 - March 26 - April 1

Tuesday, March 26 - I got an  incredible deal on a subscription to Taste of Home and got my first issue today. Love this magazine!
Wednesday, March 27 - Working on my Arabian stallion drawing.
Thursday, March 28 - Working at the library.
Friday, March 29 - Our cow/calf pairs got moved to a new, bigger pen, and the calves had a great time running around. Here's little Miracle at two weeks old, looking happy and healthy after her rough start in life.
Saturday, March 30 - My sister's dog, Beau, waiting patiently while we play a board game.
Sunday, March 31 - So I didn't take this photo, but I took all the other family Easter photos. Here's my husband and I - wish I remembered what I'm laughing about.
Monday, April 1 - Catching up on watching Survivor - hadn't had a chance to watch last week's episode until tonight.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - March 31

Happy Easter! Is everyone enjoying the spring weather that's finally arriving? I sure am!

I worked four days this past week, but here's what little I did.

Arabian stallion - starting to work my way down the face, starting with the area just above the eye.

Working my way through the Fabric, Folds, and the Figure lesson book. Next week, I'll have some sketching to share of the activity at the bottom of the page - set up a piece of striped fabric over some books or boxes and draw it. I'm still working on the outline, so there's nothing interesting to see right now.

And some sketching from the model horse again - studying shoulders and haunches.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Project 365 - March 19-25

Tuesday, March 19 - The little calf that had so much trouble being born is up and running around. We named her Miracle.
Wednesday, March 20 - Trying to take photos of one of our bulls - he was not very cooperative. All I got was a couple photos like this with the light spots and then a couple rear views before he ducked into the herd of cows and disappeared.
Thursday, March 21 - After the calving troubles we had, we decided to buy the calving book I'd borrowed from the library earlier so we can have it on hand at all times in case there's trouble.
Friday, March 22 - Reading the next lesson book for my Art Instruction Schools course - Fabric, Folds, and the Figure.
Saturday, March 23 - We went to a "Catan-a-Thon" day. My husband won the t-shirt for having the the least points. The winner had 28, and my husband had 13.
Sunday, March 24 - Second day this year I forgot to take a photo.
Monday, March 25 - After this extremely long winter, I was very happy to see this in the weather widget!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - March 24

I have nearly 4 hours of drawing time in on the Arabian stallion. This week, I worked on the mane and figuring out the arch and fade out on the neck. I feel like he's really starting to come together.

I started reading lesson 26 of my Art Instruction Schools course - Fabric, Folds, and the Figure.

And some sketching from the model horse on my desk.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Project 365 - March 12-18

Tuesday, March 12 - In bed, just before falling asleep, I remembered that I hadn't taken a photo today, so this is what you get. By the way, I hadn't set the clocks ahead yet, so it was actually 11:45, way too late to go around photo op hunting!
Wednesday, March 13 - Boot shopping with my mom and little sister.
Thursday, March 14 - Started wearing my pedometer again and got in 10,831 steps today! My previous job, I sat at a desk and was lucky to get 1200 by 5:00. Now, working at the library, I average 800-1,000 steps each hour!
Friday, March 15 - Some good produce deals at the grocery store - look at all that wonderful fruit. Fresh pineapple is an extra special treat for me!
Saturday, March 16 - Pieper usually lays by the door or on her blanket in the living room, but after working in my studio, I headed downstairs and saw her lying at the bottom. I liked how she was framed by the stairway. (Forgive the yucky steps - we're waiting on new carpet.)
Sunday, March 17 - A calf born yesterday that had a lot of trouble arriving. She got stuck at both the shoulders and the hips and took over an hour to be born. She couldn't get up, and it was bitter cold, so I made a fleece jacket for her.
Monday, March 18 - This is what Pieper typically looks like while we're trying to put our boots on - right in our faces. This time, she even came under the table trying to get in my lap. Such a cutie!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday (on Monday) - March 18

Crazy busy week and weekend. A new calf that was having some trouble kept me from getting the post up yesterday, but I didn't forget! Here's a look at my work this week.

The Arabian stallion:

And the finished assignment for the portrait lesson for Art Instruction Schools. Next, I learn about fabric and how it folds and drapes on the human figure.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Project 365 - March 5-11

Tuesday, March 5 - The little Black Hereford heifer born yesterday. She's such a cutie!
Wednesday, March 6 - Our second calf, a red bull. He's having a hard time keeping up with his very active sister even though she's only a day older than him.
Thursday, March 7 - Girls' night out and working on scrapbooks together.
Friday, March 8 - Playing Settlers of Catan with my family. If you haven't ever played this, I highly recommend it. It's our all-time favorite game!
Saturday, March 9 - Sleet storm. My poor doggie after helping us with chores. She was completely frosted.
Sunday, March 10 - The current state of my studio workspace - lesson books, reference photos, my iPod, my current drawing, a binder of art prints, and the model horse I've been sketching from.
Monday, March 11 - I cleaned off my vanity top - look how nice it looks! Our bedroom is decorated with our wedding stuff. On the vanity is my bouquet, a few photos, our cake topper (a ranch sign with our name and date and mini hay bales and cowboy hats underneath - my mom made it, and I love it), our toasting glasses, and on top (which you can't see) one of our centerpieces.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - March 10

I didn't have a lot of time in my studio this week, so there's not as much progress to show as I'd like, but that's life.

The Arabian stallion - still working on the neck. Due to the roughness of this paper, it's time consuming to make sure all the dips in the paper get filled in, so they don't stay white and lighten up the whole area.

Portrait assignment - really happy with how he's coming along. Just the neck to finish, and then I'll be on to the next lesson.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project 365 - February

Tuesday, Feb. 26 - Working on drawing with the reference photos up on the screen of a laptop - so nice!
Wednesday, Feb. 27 - Freezer cooking day with my mom. At the end of the afternoon, we each had two gallon bags of chili, chicken soup, hashbrowns, and maple pecan pancakes.
Thursday, Feb. 28 - Night out with the girls and eating blue Dum-Dum suckers.
Friday, March 1 - Pieper worn out after a long day of guarding open gates.
Saturday, March 2 - Had to come up with a way of keeping track of what is in the freezer since, besides the freezer cooking day, I've been making extra portions to freeze of some of our favorite recipes.
Sunday, March 3 - Date night with my husband who's been gone a lot of nights lately working on our planter. Our relaxing evening consisted of beef stew, mango, and watching The Avengers.
Monday, March 4 - Our first Black Hereford calf arrived! I went out to check the heifers at 3:30 a.m., and her mama was just getting up, so I missed the birth by minutes (not that I mind terribly, it's pretty gross to watch!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - March 3

Wow, can you believe it's March already? This winter actually seemed to go by pretty quickly!

Let's kick Sketchbook Sunday off with some sketches from the model horse on my desk. This mostly rear-view of the head is not one of my strong points, so it's good practice.

The Arabian stallion portrait is coming along well. I turned the far ear back again since it gave him a too friendly look when it pointed forward, and I want him to look like a spirited stallion, not a pet. I adjusted the other ear as well and the lid on the eye. Now I'm starting to develop the shadows.

The portrait assignment continues to come along well. For having hardly drawn any people in my life, I'm pretty happy with how he looks. Hopefully I can finish him this week and move onto the next assignment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Project 365 - February 19-25

Tuesday, Feb. 19 - Bitter cold day and the brightest sun dogs I have ever seen! Not long after I took this photo, they were too bright to look directly at.
Wednesday, Feb. 20 - Watching the Scottsdale Arabian show live online. Love seeing all the different classes that I've never seen before like saddleseat, native costume, liberty, and gambler's choice jumping.
Thursday, Feb. 21 - We finally had a nice warmish day (20 degrees), so I took some photos of our new Black Hereford heifers we bought last weekend.
Friday, Feb. 22 - I was lucky enough to be watching the live feed of the Scottsdale Arabian show at the right time to see a half-sister to my colt be named top ten yearling Arabian filly!
Saturday, Feb. 23 - My sweet Border Collie begging for her treat. She almost always puts one or both paws up by her face when she begs - adorable!
Sunday, Feb. 24 - Yes, I forgot to take a photo. I'd say a 54 day streak isn't bad though!
Monday, Feb. 25 - A cute summer shirt I got for $5 through my hometown's garage sale site on Facebook.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - February 24

The assignment for the portrait lesson for Art Instruction Schools is coming along nicely, I think. The hair is roughed in, forehead and eyebrows are in, and I'm working on the eye.

I'm making slow progress on the Arabian stallion drawing. I changed the far ear to point forward rather than sidewise, but I'm not sure I like it, so it may go back to the way it was. I fiddled with the shape of the blaze, trying to match it with photos of the real horse.

Some sketching I did this past week. I'm trying to decide how I want the neck to "end" on the Arabian stallion portrait. I think I like the first one best - with the concave shape to the neck. What do you think? Is there a different one you like better?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Looking Back in Time" is 2nd place winner!

I was super excited to get a letter from the Art Instruction Schools yesterday notifying me that my draft horse drawing, "Looking Back in Time" was chosen as a second place winner in their annual art competition!

For those who are new to my blog, this is quite a large drawing that I did last summer/fall; I ran a contest to name it and chose the name "Looking Back in Time". I finished it just barely in time to have it shipped in for the art competition, and after I'd already sent it off, I found out that the scan taken of it didn't turn out, so this is a very poor look at it, but it's all I have at the moment:

I look forward to getting the original back soon, and with the prize money, I'm hoping to have giclee prints made of it. The original will also be for sale; you can email me if you're interested.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Celebrating 10,000 views giveaway!

To celebrate the 10,000th view of this blog, I will give away one of my art bookmarks to every person that replies to this post in the next 24 hours. You may leave your mailing address here or email it to me at

Giveaway ends at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 20!

You will receive a random bookmark of the three designs pictured.

Project 365 - February 12-18

Tuesday, Feb. 12 - We're planning a long drive this weekend, so I picked up a couple audio books at the library to listen to during the trip.
Wednesday, Feb. 13 - My husband bought two loads of cattle at a sale barn 2.5 hours from home. I went back with him for the second load. We left just after dark, hit some really crappy weather, and this is when we got home.
Thursday, Feb. 14 - My Valentine's Day rose. I love the combination of roses and sheet music. I had so much fun taking photos with this rose!
Friday, Feb. 15 - At about 5 p.m., we left on our 8+ hour drive to Missouri for a cattle sale, so this is what I spent many hours looking at.
Saturday, Feb. 16 - Early this morning, we did our Walmart Valentine mission. We each went into Walmart with a $25 limit to get whatever we could find for each other for Valentine's Day. That evening, after the cattle sale, in our fancy hotel room, we exchanged our gifts. It was such a fun idea for a V-Day on a budget!
Sunday, Feb. 17 - Leaving Missouri with our new cattle and driving through Amish country, we spotted quite a few horses and buggies - such a neat sight!
Monday, Feb. 18 - Making up information sheets for the new cattle and working out the calving schedule. With the 12 new heifers we've bought in the last week, we're up to 62 calves this year plus 17 of my in-laws', and it could get started any day now. Busy busy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - February 17

Sketching from the model horse again - studying the hindquarters. Not the most glamorous thing to study, but it's got to be accurate too.

Starting the assignment for the portrait lesson. You can see the model photograph on the right and hopefully my sketch on the left - I darkened it as much as I could. I've got the head shape in along with the eyeballs (the lids will come later to make the eye shapes), the tip of the nose, and just starting the mouth.

And the Arabian stallion drawing - the outline is done, I'm pretty happy with the marking on the face (very important when doing a portrait of a real horse), and I have just the very basic values in. The dark areas are the black/nearly black points, the lightly shaded areas will be in shadow, and the areas still white will be catching the light. The main thing left to decide is what kind of shape I should make where the neck fades away. I may do some sketches to see what looks best for that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Project 365 - February 5-11

Tuesday, Feb. 5 - I found a gently used iPod 3rd generation Nano for sale! I've been wanting an iPod for years, and I'm so excited to finally have one.
Wednesday, Feb. 6 - On our way to the sale barn to sell a couple fat steers and some of the smaller calves that couldn't keep up with the bigger calves.
Thursday, Feb. 7 - Baking bread. My recipe makes three loaves, so I had two extras to give to my two friends that I went out with later that night.
Friday, Feb. 8 - Working on my Sketchbook Sunday blog post.
Saturday, Feb. 9 - The beginning of a blizzard that shut down the whole area for a day and a half. They were huge snow pellets - that's the only way I can describe them. They looked like hail but were spongy like snowballs. Never seen them before.
Sunday, Feb. 10 - Our Border Collie, Pieper, begging to be let back in the house while licking snowflakes off her nose. She really does love the snow once she gets out into it, but being put out of the warm house into this was a bit of a shock.
Monday, Feb. 11 - The blizzard finally ended with 7-8 inches of new snow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - February 10

I finally started the Arabian stallion portrait I've been talking about for weeks. The outline is roughed in. Forgive the dark shadows - I had to darken the photo a lot for the lines to even be seen.

Still working on portraits. I'll be starting the final assignment this week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Project 365 - January 29-February 4

Tuesday, Jan. 29 - A kitchen flop. I've made this recipe for cowboy cookies many times, but for some reason, they just didn't turn out well this time. At least they still tasted good.
Wednesday, Jan. 30 - I brought home two books from the library that I'm very excited about. One is about cooking meals to stock in the freezer and the other is the sequel to Divergent, the book voted #1 on the Teen Top Ten List of 2012 and all around awesome book - dare I say better than Hunger Games?
Thursday, Jan. 31 - One of my goals this year is to do more freezer cooking. Today, I made two gallon bags full of chili, two sandwich-size bags of taco meat, and two balls of dough for pizza crusts to go in the freezer for days I don't want to cook or when my husband is home alone.
Friday, Feb. 1 - I got my foreshortening assignment back from Art Instruction Schools with a B+ grade.
Saturday, Feb. 2 - Value sketches for the Arabian stallion portrait I plan to do. Still trying to decide which one I like best.
Sunday, Feb. 3 - My mom's cat Bummer provided quite the entertainment during the Superbowl.
Monday, Feb. 4 - Food and library books seemed to be common in my life this week. This Amish cookbook has to be back to the library later this week, so I went through and made copies of the recipes I want to try.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - February 3

This week, I worked on learning about different facial expressions and how they affect the facial features. I was given the face of this boy minus eyes and mouth and had to create the expression. Here's what it looks like today.

And then, as you've perhaps already seen, I've been sketching for my upcoming Arabian stallion drawing and trying to decide if I should cast the shadow across the face as in the top right sketch or have the light hitting the face as in the bottom sketch. Your opinions would be appreciated!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Arabian stallion drawing - need your thoughts

I've got a couple final sketches done of different lighting for the Arabian stallion I'll be drawing next, and I could use some opinions on which you like better...


 or #2?

Specifically, do you like the face in shadow (#1) or catching the light (#2)?

Anything else that stands out to you about one or the other?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Project 365 - January 22-28

Tuesday, January 22 - I joined the county fair board and attended my first meeting. This was the agenda for the evening.
Wednesday, January 23 - I delivered Meals on Wheels to homebound people in the area with my mom. This is the basket full of empty trays being returned.
Thursday, January 24 - You probably can't tell, but this is me. This is what I've looked like the last few days of single digit/below zero temps. I don't keep warm easily, so when the temps dip this low, this is what I wear - jeans and long-sleeve shirt (and if I'll be out for a longer period of time, I add long underwear), heavy insulated coveralls, fleece vest with high neck, sweatshirt, heavy denim jacket, hood/face mask, stocking cap, heavy gloves, socks (with extra pairs if I plan on being out a long time), and heavy boots. It's a long process getting in and out of all that clothing which is why I love summer so much!
Friday, January 25 - Playing piano is one of many hobbies I never have enough time for. I especially like playing Lorie Line and George Winston pieces.
Saturday, January 26 - I actually forgot to take a photo for Project 365 today, but luckily, I had taken photos for Sketchbook Sunday, so I do still have something to show you. This is my current classwork for Art Instruction Schools.
Sunday, January 27 - Relaxing for the evening with my husband. Maybe someday you'll get to see his face.
Monday, January 28 - Looking at sales listings of bulls. We're looking at getting into a kind of new breed - Black Herefords.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Project 365 - January 15-21

Tuesday, January 15 - We got my grandpa moved to his new place, and this is the interesting old barn that sits across the driveway from the house.
Wednesday, January 16 - A beautiful sunset through our grove. (It was too cold to go out to the road and take the photo, so this was taken from our doorway.)
Thursday, January 17 - The birthday gift I prepared for a long-time friend. Her husband requested we send her 30 of something that reminded us of her (it's her 30th birthday). We have a hilarious memory involving melting Dum-Dum suckers over candles, so I sent her 30 Dum-Dums as well as a nice candle as the "real" gift.
Friday, January 18 - This is my way of organizing my menu plan. I have each recipe written on a piece of magnetic paper with different colors representing beef, chicken, vegetarian/pork, side dishes, and dessert. Each week, I choose two beef recipes (since we raise it and it's cheapest for us) and one each of the other categories. One day is always "Try new recipe".
Saturday, January 19 - Cookie dough! I was craving it, so I used the single-serve "safe" recipe I adapted from Pinterest - 3 Tbs. whole wheat flour, 2 Tbs. sugar (brown or white), a splash of vanilla extract, 1 Tbs. butter, and 1 Tbs. milk (or a bit more if needed to obtain the consistency you like). Mix together, add as many chocolate chips and/or nuts as you like and voila!
Sunday, January 20 - In cleaning out my grandpa's house, I found many treasures. This one is my grandma's recipe box stuffed full of handwritten and magazine-clipped recipes.
Monday, January 21 - The weather widget on my computer dashboard. Needless to say, I'm staying inside as much as possible and can't wait until Saturday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sketchbook Sunday - January 20

This week's work - I was in Wisconsin for a couple days helping my Grandpa move to a new house, so not a lot of time for art, but here's what things look like now.
I'm working on hair for the Art Instruction Schools portrait lesson. The left side of the sketch was done, and I'm filling in the right side. I found this very difficult as they had put in lines to show the direction of the hair, but they were such a jumbled mess that they really didn't help at all.

A whole page of sketches of my model horse shown in last week's post.

My next project is to draw this stunning Arabian stallion as a thank you to the people who so generously gave me my two horses, Intrigue and Encore. The photo is blurry because I pulled it from a video, but I'm thinking this is the general pose I'd like to do. I'll be doing just the head and neck, and he will be big! I'm going to work in the same sketchbook in which I drew "Looking Back in Time", approximately 14x18".

And because last week, I was asked to post the finished teeth drawing, you get this. I never finished it as I didn't find teeth difficult to do and decided to spend the practice time on something that did need it, but there's more to it than there was last week, so here it is:

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